NO contempt to Cara Black and all she did this year after her well-publicised comeback in 2013.
Absolutely nothing against Scott Vincent who won the prestigious Players Amateur title in July and his impressive form this year that also saw him becoming the first-ever golfer at Virginia Tech University to be named to the Ping All American Team.
Karateka Winston Nyanhete was incredible in winning gold for the country at this year’s Zone Six Games in Lusaka, Zambia.
But where was the love for Charles Manyuchi?
The Masvingo-born boxer won the WBC welterweight belt last year. Yes, the WBC title after beating the lights out of Ghanaian Ghana’s Patrick Allotey.
But what he got was second position at the Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) in the Sportsmen of the Year category that year.
He stunningly defended that prestigious title in November after defeating Colombian Delvis Navarro and the 26-year-old was recently quoted in the media blasting the government for not recognising that enormous achievement, claiming Sports, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa had not offered him even a handshake.
So finally, it was good to see Manyuchi getting some recognition he has been craving for all along when the Sports and Recreation Commission named him both the Sportsperson of the Year and the Sportsman of the Year winner at the ANSA awards night in the capital yesterday.
The ANSA awards are designed to recognise and celebrate sporting excellence among the top performing athletes and officials each year.
For the Sportsperson of the Year award, which is the more significant of the two, Manyuchi beat strong competition from last year’s winner Black, who recorded 49 wins this season with her Indian partner Sania Mirza.
The 35-year-old, who has over 50 WTA titles under her belt, rose to world number four on the doubles rankings after clinching the WTA Tour Finals doubles title with Mirza in Singapore last month.
For the Sportsman of the Year Award, Manyuchi beat Vincent and Nyanhete who won silver and bronze respectively.
Black did not go empty-handed though. Her supreme achievements this season earned her the Sportswoman of the Year, ahead of golfer Yollander Mubaiwa (silver) and long distance runner Rutendo Nyahora (bronze).
Junior Sportsperson of the Year award went to BMX rider Rebekah Oberholzer who also won the Junior Sportswoman of the Year, while rower Kyle Hinde won the Junior Sportsman award.
The Davis Cup team secured the country promotion to the 2015 Euro Africa Zone Group II, for the first time in eight years, and in a country where national teams constantly disappoints, it was only proper for the SRC to give the Martin Dzuwa-coached team the Team of the Year Award.
Dzuwa was, however, beaten to the Coach of the Year award, which was won by Junior Golf Team coach Phillip Tshuma, who led his team to the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan this year.
Athlete Patricia Bhebhe got the Junior Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability, while the Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability was won by golfer Munyaradzi Musariri.
While there were no major qualms on the list of winners last night, some critics still thought there were some key exclusions on the nomination list.
Many believe marathon runner Cuthbert Nyasango, who broke the long-standing national marathon record at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon in the Czech Republic in May this year, deserved to be nominated.
Nyasango crossed the finish line in two hours, 9 mins and 52 secs on his way to finishing third at the prestigious IAAF Gold Label race to break Tendai Chimusasa’s record of 2 hours, 10 mins, 57 secs which had stood for the past 16 years.
The country’s leading female junior tennis player Nicole Dzenga should also be wondering what she has to do to finally win the Junior Sportsman of the Year award.
After coming second at the awards last year, Dzenga had a memorable season on the ITF Junior Circuit, winning three singles titles and five doubles titles in a mazy run that saw breaking into the top 200 on the ITF Junior World rankings for the first time in her junior tennis career.
Despite all that success, she did not even make it on the shortlist.
Other notable absentee was, Czech Republic-based footballer Costa Nhamoinesu, who was this year voted the best African player in that country — the saying “a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country”, aptly describe his situation.
Winter Olympic Games trailblazer Luke Steyn and junior golfer Danielle Bekker are some of the athletes who deserved recognition.